Childhood dream achieved When I made the decision to stop having consulting employees, a big part of that was being able to be flat out gone for longer periods of time. In a tiny 4-5 person business, it’s challenging (but by no means impossible) for 2 of the team members (Erika & I) to simply disappear for a month at a time. We could have done it by adapting how the company worked, I know, but that’s a matter for that other blog post – this is about my Epic Life Quest, and here, the company change manifested itself in…Read
It’s time for my annual update on the wild ride. If you want to catch up, check out past posts in the Brent Ozar Unlimited tag. This post covers year 7 of the company – April 2017 to April 2018. This year was about making financial sacrifices. One way (certainly not the only one) to build an app is to work through these phases: Start by solving a pain manually with hourly rate consulting Gradually turn it into a productized service: a standard, fixed-rate consulting package Build tools so you can deliver the finished product faster (thereby increasing your profit),…Read
Life’s little moments of success can pass us by so easily. If we don’t track the things we’re proud of, we lose track of how far we’ve come. Steve Kamb’s Epic Quest of Awesome inspired me to build my own Epic Life Quest. I keep track of achievements, and after five significant ones, I level up. Here’s what I completed this last round: Ride the Isle of Man TT mountain course – it’s a well-regarded, scary fast race through one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. On my Sept 2018 visit, I took a morning to ride along on a motorcycle through the route. Completed Sept 2018. Acquire an existing web site –…Read
For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, Andy asked us why we do what we do. In the big picture, I use GTD 50,000 foot goals, and I translate that down to more tactical stuff in my Epic Life Quest. I’ve written a lot about the tactical stuff, but not the big-picture stuff. Here are my big-picture goals: Be a fantastic partner for my loved ones.Enjoy my time on Earth as many ways as I can.Retire with complete financial security. They’re in that order because I’m ridiculously lucky enough to have found a career that I truly love. You know what they…Read
I’ve used WooCommerce for years to sell training and online services, but I recently started using Gumroad. Here’s a quick comparison: The short story: Gumroad is for people who want to sell stuff right away, easily. WooCommerce is for people who want more power and control, and are willing to spend a lot of time managing their store. Now for the longer story, starting with my background. I’m a data professional: I help companies make their Microsoft SQL Server databases faster and more reliable. In my work, I sell training videos, live webcasts, and online service subscriptions at BrentOzar.com. I…Read
When last we met, dear reader, I was super excited that I’d broken $500K in Black Friday sales – a goal that I’d been working on for a while. I was really proud of that. That moment triggered a lot of introspection, though. In my post about year 6 of the company, I wrote about how the business was a stool with 4 legs: training, consulting, online services, and community. At that time, I didn’t have the skills to make the consulting leg of the business consistently profitable, so I laid off Angie, Doug, and Jessica. However, I kept Erik…Read
In 2013, mostly just for laughs, I ran a Black Friday sale on BrentOzar.com. It did way better than I’d expected – turns out a lot of y’all love Black Friday shopping as much as I do – so I gradually put more work into it over time. Woohoo, WooCommerce! Here’s how it did over the years: 2013: $52,780 2014: $84,577 2015: $167,728 2016: $181,457 2017: $439,550 – a great jump upwards that I was really happy with, but ever-so-slightly disappointed because I’d set an Epic Life Quest task goal of $500K. That goal seemed bonkers, but I put a ton…Read
After big conferences, I like to share my session evaluations to talk about what worked and what didn’t. Let’s see how we did this year. Pre-Con: Performance Tuning in 21 Demos This was an all-day session that Erik Darling and I co-presented. When Erik and I designed this session, we were both at a point in our presentation-writing style where we were madly in love with demos. All week long when working with clients, we have to spend a lot of time in slides, explaining concepts that we see out in the wild all the time. (I give my talk on…Read
For last year’s Black Friday sale, I set a goal of $500K in sales, then did a ton of prep work: Set up a new training class lineup with labs Added a new Live Class Season Pass so folks could attend my classes all year long Added a handful of guest instructor courses Wrote a multi-day email launch sequence To handle the doorbuster deal load, upgraded our web site hosting at WPengine to a $6k/mo plan It paid off with a big sales jump: $440K, well above 2016’s $181K but still shy of my ambitious goal. Later, after the sale…Read
I alternate between a few different backpacks depending on trip length, so I keep the core of my electronic gear in an organizer pouch. I can just toss this into whatever bag I want to take: Vanquest EDCM-SLIM 2.0 It’s a Vanquest EDCM-SLIM 2.0 8″ x 6″ organizer pouch with lots of webbing. Wild overkill for a geek bag. Vanquest makes lots of tactical, medical, and first aid organizers with Molle straps for military folks. I was really torn between this and their FTIM 5×7, but went with the EDCM after reading a couple of reviews that said the dual-zipper format of…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in California with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.
I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.